Clarity Report

Confluence of the Shield's 3/24 (7:18 AM)

The Plug from yesterday has made it down to Mayor’s landing.  The only fishable water we found was around 89, but soon after the Shields river is gushing and making the river muddy, even down past Springdale with zero visibility.   The other chance might be way up high as the CFS on the Lamar and Corwin are dropping but we hear still not worth the effort today.  It would be much better to hit the Spring Creeks while the rod fees are still $40.  Or head for the Madison or MO.   Fingers crossed for baetis…

The Shied's River, 3/24 - 7:15AM

Clarity at Springdale 3/24 - 7:35AM

Clarity at Pine Creek 3/24 - 8:50AM

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Clarity Report

Clarity in the Valley 3/22 (3:30PM) - nearly 3 feet of vis

Looks like we have a pretty good mud plug coming from the Park today.  Sounds like the mud has already made it to Carbella so if you are floating today it would be better to avoid going way up high.  Pine Creek looks dirtier today than yesterday, but still good streamer water if you are going for a big one.  The streamer bite was decent yesterday, although we didn’t land anything over 18 inches.  The fish seemed to be concentrated in slower water, although the fish were taking both slow and fast stripped flies.

John Bond and Starr, re-rigging for a toad

John Bond with a nice brown caught on the Dragon. Photo: Starr Corcoran

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Clarity Report

Clarity in town - 3/17 7:45AM - Green for St. Patrick's day!

Clarity in town is still pretty off color but at least it has a green tint to it.  Good water for hog hunting but not much hope for numbers or dry fly fishing today.  Paradise Valley is much dirtier so you won’t want to be floating up there.  The Shield’s river is also kicking in some mud but the clarity is better than the Valley.  We didn’t have time to drive down today, so we’re not sure if town or down low is more clear with the Shield’s dumping.

Clarity at Pine Creek - 3/17 8:00AM

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Clarity Report

Clarity today (3/16 7:45 AM) less than 6 inches of vis

There is a bad plug in the valley right now with brown water and almost no visibility.  Clarity in town is better but still off color, although a little more green.  It might be a good day to go for a big one, but if you are hoping for more numbers you’d be better off fishing a different river today…

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Clarity Report

Plug in town - Clarity 3/14 at 8:00 AM - less than 6" of vis

With lower elevation snow melt the Stone has been “in and out” of good fishing clarity.  Today in town the river was still green but with an opaque tint to it.  Not looking like worth your effort today…

Clarity at Pine Creek 3/14 @ 8:32AM

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Clarity Report

Clarity at Carter's Bridge 3/12 (8:00AM)

Clarity at Carter’s this morning was green and about 18 inches of visibility.  Sounds like the clarity yesterday was a little worse, so a the “plug” should be down low today but even that should be fishable with a foot of visibility or more.  Water temps are still very cold so if you are stripping streamers be sure to let them get down and move them slowly.  Dead drifting is the preferred method still until water temps are up a bit.  If you are nymphing try a mix of black or dark nymphs, as they will show up in the green water better.

Clarity at Carter's Bridge 3/12 (8:00AM) - green is good...

We just checked the river at lunch today and it was quite a bit dirtier at Mayor’s.  This must be the upper end of the plug as the river was much “greener” at Carter’s this morning.  With these warmer temperatures the river will likely be in and out the next few days.  Give us a call anytime for a clarity report:  406-222-7130.

Visibility at Mayor's Landing 3/12 (1:30PM)

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Weather Warming Up

Clarity 3/10 (2:30 PM)

This past week things have taken a turn and gotten much warmer.  We’ve seen a few more people getting after lately, stopping in to get their 2018 fishing license.   Most have been going to the Spring Creeks but some anglers have also been hitting up the Yellowstone.  As warmer temperatures melt snow we expect to see clarity change.  Today the Yellowstone had a nice green hue to it although we heard rumors of a plug coming from up high.  Having a little green in the water is a good thing for streamer fishing.  The problem is the water temperature has been so cold lately they haven’t been chasing the streamer very well.  If you are going for the hog consider dead drifting a streamer under a bobber instead, with a rubber leg or beadhead nymph behind it to help pad your numbers a bit.  If clarity on the river does get dirtier by tomorrow, try fishing flashier flies or black flies that show up better in the mud.  You could also try fishing further down river but beware shuttles are not officially going yet and there are still ice shelves out there so be sure to scout your boat ramps before putting in.  The forecast for the rest of the weekend and next week is calling for more temps in the mid 40′s and 50′s.  Give us a call anytime for the latest updates and clarity reports.  406-222-7130.

"Breadwards" with a nice rainbow 3/10. Photo: Kelsey Edwards

Kelsey Edwards - caught on her own home tied "Pa's reliable" Photo: B.E.

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Winter Chill

Sam Fischer, enjoying a "warmer" 9° day on the creek last week...

The fishing last week was frigid to say the least, but people were getting out there still.  Most all of the fishing last week was on the Paradise Valley Spring Creeks, (Armstrong’s, Nelson’s, and DePuy’s), where the water temperatures come out of the ground around 52°F.  All the typical winter fishing problems were present – ice build up on the guides, wind gusts affecting your drift, frozen fingers and toes…  Only you can decide if spending a day on the water when it is this cold is worth while or not.

Lil' Armstrong's brownie from last week...

Release a DePuy's rainbow (2/17) ... Photo: Brett Edwards

Another DePuy's brown from Sat 2/17. Photo: Brett Edwards

The river has too much slush ice in it to fish.  With colder temps in the negatives the next few days the river might freeze over completely again…

Mallard's Rest on 2/19 - not quite frozen over yet.

Pine Creek Bridge 2/19

The fishing has been slow, but the swimming has pretty good lately...

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Winter fishing continues

The Schnaderbuck! Erick Schnaderbeck battling the elements... Photo: Clay Mullins

Things have been pretty cold in Montana the past couple weeks, but if you wait for warmer weather, (or less wind) you might not be fishing until April.  In general, the fishing has been very slow out there, but if you are willing to get some cold fingers and toes there might be a fish reward in it for you here and there.  Dress for success and you will be able to stay warm out there.  If you do not layer up appropriately or bring the proper cold weather gear, it could be a short day, or a long miserable day.

That water is cold! John bond taking the frozen finger honors...

"Cold, Rain, and Snow... time to go where those chilly winds don't blow"

If fishing around Montana in the winter doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, consider going on a bonefish trip to Mexico, the bahamas, or Belize.  We stock a good selection of flies for bonefish, permit, and tarpon.  Stop by the shop anytime and we’d be happy to show you some of the best patterns.

Midges on the Lower Madison

If you are hoping to get some dry fly action in, midges are going to be your best shot.  Even on windy days, midges will stock up on the leeward side of rocks, logs, and other obstructions.  Afternoons are typically your best bet to find active fish as the water temperatures are going to be slightly warmer.  We have seen a lot of midges out there on both the Yellowstone and Lower Madison, (as well as the Paradise Valley spring creeks), but unfortunately, the conditions have to be just right to find rising fish.  In the mean time you can nymph with stoneflies, worms, serendipities, prince nymphs, or midge larva patterns.   You can also take a stab at swinging or streamer fishing, although be sure to let your streamer get deep and close to the bottom as the fish are not moving very far in the water column to chase this time of year.

Saturday 2/3

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Winter Fishing

Slush ice has been changing day to day, give us a call for the latest report.

Winter fishing on the Yellowstone has been slow this year, mostly due to cold temps, lots of wind, and slush ice.  The slush part of the equation is looking better but is constantly changing and might be back with snow coming in the forecast this Friday.  Unfortunately the wind part the equation has not been good lately.  Today the wind is ripping a steady 31 to 34 with gusts up to 49 mph.  As always feel free to give us a call for a current report.  We still do not recommend float fishing right now as it is dangerous and frankly not worth your effort.

Paradise Valley (1/17) Photo: Francis Clougherty

Looks like snow on the way this Friday and Saturday...

If you are really itching to get out there and fish, the Spring Creeks are going to be your best option right now.  The water temperature is warmer and the fish are more active than the river fish this time of year.  DePuy’s is popular destination in the winter season because of their warming huts on the property.  You can always jump in your car and warm your hands up at bit when fishing Armstrong’s and Nelson’s as well.  Winter rates are still $40 a rod until 4/14.

A surprisingly calm day today! (1/17) Photo: Davey Britt

Brett Edwards with a DePuy's brown. Photo: JG

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